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Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(DALLAS) -- Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is in hot water just weeks before the start of the preseason.

The 21-year-old rookie has been accused of assaulting a woman who claims to be his former live-in girlfriend, according to police reports obtained by ESPN. The woman says she was assaulted several times over the past week.

Elliott has denied the claims. The first-round pick has not been charged or arrested.

ESPN reports the Cowboys are aware of the accusations, and a league representative says the NFL will review the case.

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Andy Lyons/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has reportedly violated the NFL's drug policy.

According to ESPN, sources say Bell, 24, is facing a four-game suspension for missing a drug test, and the appeals process is ongoing.

If the suspension isn't overturned, according to ESPN, Bell will miss the first four games of the regular season.

The running back was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 regular season after he was arrested in the summer of 2014 on DUI and marijuana possession charges. The suspension was later reduced to two games after Bell filed for an appeal.

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Ronald Martinez/ALLSPORT via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dennis Green, former NFL coach of the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals, has died at 67.

Green spent 13 seasons coaching the NFL with eight playoff appearances under the Vikings. His best season with the team was in 1998  when the Vikings finished 15–1, a record at the time.

According to a statement from his family, he died due to complications of cardiac arrest.

The Vikings said they were "saddened" by the news of his passing.

"Denny made his mark in ways far beyond being an outstanding football coach," the team said in a statement. "He mentored countless players and served as a father figure for the men he coached. Denny founded the Vikings Community Tuesday Program, a critical initiative that is now implemented across the entire NFL. He took great pride in helping assistant coaches advance their careers. His tenure as one of the first African American head coaches in both college and the NFL was also transformative."

Green coached the Cardinals from 2004 to 2006.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More athletes have been caught using banned substances ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Friday that after reanalyzing samples from the previous two Summer Games -- Beijing 2008 and London 2012 -- 45 more athletes were found to have tested positive for prohibited substances. This brings the total number to 98 after two waves of reanalysis.

“The third and fourth waves are expected to continue throughout and after the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” the IOC said.

Of the 45 athletes who failed in the latest wave, 30 competed in Beijing, 23 of whom were medalists. The remaining 15 competed in London and represented two sports.

The IOC has not released the athletes’ names nor identified their countries.

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Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Sprint Cup Series season rolls on this weekend with a visit to one of auto racing’s most notable tracks.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday afternoon. NBCSN’s coverage of the race begins at 3 p.m. ET.

As previously reported, Jeff Gordon will fill in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms.

Last week’s winner, Matt Kenseth, was penalized 15 driver points this week after his car failed a post-race inspection following his victory at New Hampshire.

Kevin Harvick is the points leader entering Sunday’s race, with a 14-point edge over Brad Keselowski.

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Photo by Rich Arden / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA is exploring alternative host cities for its 2017 All-Star Game now that it has decided to remove the game from North Carolina, ESPN reports.

The NBA issued the following statement today regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game pic.twitter.com/2yo1YDA2Un

— NBA (@NBA) July 21, 2016



The league announced its decision not to hold the event in North Carolina Thursday. It had been considering the move over its objection to North Carolina House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections in the state. Sources told ESPN that cities including New York, Brooklyn and Chicago "have become options" for the All-Star Game.

In a statement Thursday, the NBA noted that the league and the Charlotte Hornets "have been working  diligently [since March] to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change." The league says it hopes to reschedule an All-Star Game in Charlotte for 2019.

"We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league," the NBA statement reads. "These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view."

In a statement, the Charlotte Hornets said they understood the decision and the challenges that would have come with keeping the game in Charlotte. "There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so," the team said.

After the owners' meetings earlier in July, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the league was considering its options. The league had requested changes to the law, but with the North Carolina legislature on summer hiatus, time for such changes is short.

Yahoo's The Vertical reported Thursday that the league was on the verge of pulling the game from Charlotte, and that New Orleans could be a frontrunner to play host.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Tampa Bay 7, Oakland 3
Baltimore 4, N-Y Yankees 1
Boston 13, Minnesota 2
Detroit 2, Chi White Sox 1 (7 Innings, shortened due to rain)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis 6, San Diego 5
Colorado 7, Atlanta 3
L.A. Dodgers 6, Washington 3
Miami 9, Philadelphia 3
Pittsburgh 5, Milwaukee 3

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Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice says he would give up his entire salary if an NFL team signs him this season.

The running back, out of football since his suspension during the 2014 season for striking his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator, made the promise in a story posted to the USA Today website.

"All the scrutiny that I've got, it was deserved," Rice admitted, "because domestic violence is a horrible thing."

The 29-year-old played six seasons in Baltimore and made three Pro Bowls. He was suspended indefinitely in September 2014 after video of him punching his then-fiancee in an elevator surfaced. That suspension was later overturned by a neutral arbitrator, but Rice was released by the Ravens and no other team signed him.

"Me donating my salary is something that'll be from the heart for me," Rice told USA Today. "I only want to play football so I can end it the right way for my kids and for the people that really believed in me."

"But," he said, "I know there's a lot of people affected by domestic violence, and every dollar helps. It's raising awareness."

"I'm not saying I'd be [donating the salary] to get on the field," Rice clarified, "but it's something that will show where my heart is."

"I think the biggest donation that you can give to domestic violence is your time," Rice told USA Today. "I'm not just going to be giving it because I have money. I'm going to be giving it because I did the background and the research and spect a lot of time with people who understand the cause."

Rice also pointed out that awareness is key to preventing domestic violence. "It's an epidemic," Rice said. "I know that my situation raised awareness. I'm not thankful for being that guy, but I'm thankful for the people that now are not afraid to ask for help, because I had to go get the help myself after to realize the severity of what domestic violence is."

Rice and his now-wife Janay married soon after his indictment in the 2014 incident. They have a four-year-old daughter and a second child due in September.

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Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- George Washington University basketball coach Mike Lonergan routinely abused players verbally and emotionally, a report in the Washington Post detailed Thursday.

The report cites interviews with former athletes and staff members, as well as a complaint logged to a campus Title IX coordinator after this past season. In those complaints, Lonergan is alleged to have created an "offensive, intolerable environment." The player who filed the complaint noted that he had heard of previous issues under Lonergan before.

A follow-up email to the Title IX coordinator, Rory Muhammad, was obtained by the Washington Post. In it, the player writes that the issues brought up concern him and his teammates "because it seems as if nothing was taken seriously. This worries me because if I (and others) choose to leave the University, word of Coach Lonergan's verbal and emotional abuse, as well as player mistreatment would eventually be known among the greater community."

Three players have transferred out of the GW basketball program each of the last four years, and 13 total have transferred since Lonergan took over five seasons ago.

The Post quotes one former player who says that he doesn't believe Lonergan should be in sports. "I don't think what he said should be tolerated. I would like to stay at GW. I will not play for Mike Lonergan."

Lonergan responded to the story, the Post says, with an emailed statement vowing not to respond to "anonymous, unfounded allegations."

"These types of accusations have already been investigated by the University and found to be groundless," he added.

One former player, according to the Post, said he needed therapy to cope after his time playing for Lonergan.

One former member of the George Washington basketball staff said, "A lot of kids transfer because they have delusions of grandeur. Nobody transferred from GW with delusions of grandeur. They just transferred because they hated him. They couldn't stand another second of him."

The Post reported that allegations of abuse against Lonergan during the 2014-15 season prompted a meeting between the coach and administrators, who requested practice film to examine Lonergan's actions. After associate athletics director Ed Scott began to travel with George Washington last season, Lonergan began to target athletic director Patrick Nero, according to one former player who spoke to the Post and expanded on his comments to ESPN.

"The stuff (Lonergan) has said about the athletic director made everybody uncomfortable," the player told ESPN.

The player said Lonergan routinely accused players of engaging in sexual relationships with Nero.

"It was very odd," the former player said. "He had this weird obsession."

In early April, the former player met with Nero to discuss a variety of concerns, including inappropriate comments Lonergan allegedly made on a recruit's visit in October and during private conversations. He and other former players who spoke to the Post said Lonergan created an awkward and intimidating environment.

That resulted in a Title IX investigation since Title IX refers to sexual harassment of any kind.

In an email the former player shared with ESPN, Nero said, "I appreciate you stopping in today to let me know of your conversation with Coach Lonergan in the fall and your concerns with this conversation. Obviously, this was not something that was easy to share."

According to the email, Nero told the former player he would confidentially share their exchange with Rory Muhammad, the school's Title IX coordinator. A week after his meeting with Nero, the former player emailed Muhammad afterward to express concerns that "it seems as if nothing was taken seriously."

The former player said Muhammad ultimately told him the program had handled everything internally, which he viewed as a failure to take action against the coach who signed an extension through the 2020-21 season after a successful 2013-14 campaign.

The player then left the school.

"One day, I said I have to do something," the former player told ESPN of his decision to publicize the accusations against Lonergan. "I don't think it's fair that people have to leave the school they love. The Title IX coordinator didn't protect athletes."

George Washington President Steven Knapp responded to the Post story in a statement, saying, "Whenever and wherever we receive an allegation of misconduct, we conduct a fair and thorough investigation, and we take action as appropriate on the basis of what that investigation reveals. Investigations take time, and I don't think anyone ever benefits from a rush to judgment in advance of the facts."

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Commissioner Rob Manfred prior to a regular season Sunday Night Baseball game (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)(NEW YORK) -- Major League Baseball could soon restrict the number of different pitchers teams use per game.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was a guest on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike Thursday morning, and listened to nine suggestions from the hosts on how to potentially improve the sport. One of those suggestions included a restriction on relief pitchers allowed either per inning or per game.

"I am in favor of something like that," the commissioner said, adding that the league has spent "a ton of time on this issue in the last few months."

Manfred also said that relief pitchers have become too dominant in the modern game. "The pitching changes themselves slow the game down," he said, "and our relief pitchers have become so dominant at the back end that they actually rob action out of the end of the game, the last few innings of the game."

The average length of a Major League Baseball game this season has been three hours and four minutes. In 2005, the average game was just two hours and 49 minutes.

Manfred said earlier this year that he was unhappy with the pace of games, and would entertain "creative ways" to improve the sport.

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